Fitzpatrick and Parry earn their Tour cards

MADE IT: Yorkshire's John Parry.
MADE IT: Yorkshire's John Parry.
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Yorkshire will have five players on the European Tour next season after Matt Fitzpatrick and John Parry safely negotiated the six-round marathon of qualifying school.

Sheffield’s Fitzpatrick fired a 68 yesterday at PGA Catalunya to finish in 10th place.

The 20-year-old’s four-under-par closing 68 saw him finish 10 strokes behind winner Mikko Korhonen of Finland on an aggregate of 418, 10 under par, after six rounds.

Harrogate’s Parry fared even better, posting a 67 on day six to finish 13 under and in fifth.

They join Danny Willett, Simon Dyson and Richard Finch on next year’s Tour.

Progression vindicates Fitzpatrick’s decision in June to turn professional after winning the US Amateur and the silver medal at both the Open and US Open in a stellar apprentice career.

And Parry regains his card after a poor year on Tour in which he made only a handful of cuts and had lost his playing status, forcing him back to qualifying school.

Fellow Englishmen Matt Ford, Richard McEvoy, Paul Maddy, Tom Murray, Chris Lloyd and Chris Paisley also earned cards.

Fitzpatrick said: “I don’t really know what to say, I’ve never felt like this.

“It’s daft in a way as it’s not a win, but it feels like one, as it is what everyone is trying to do at the start of the week, just get their card and go for it.”

At the top of the leaderboard, Korhonen shot a final-round 67 to finish two strokes clear and prevail in a tight three-way battle for the title.

Argentina’s Ricardo Gonzalez finished second on 410 with fifth-round leader, the impressive 17-year-old Italian Renato 
Paratore, another two strokes back.